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In Re the Marriage of Gwendolyn R. and Larry B. Nance. v. Larry B. Nance

April 26, 2012

IN RE THE MARRIAGE OF GWENDOLYN R. AND LARRY B. NANCE. GWENDOLYN R. NANCE, APPELLANT,
v.
LARRY B. NANCE, RESPONDENT; DELARA NANCE, RESPONDENT.



(Super. Ct. No. FL780510)

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Duarte , J.

Marriage of Nance

CA3

NOT TO BE PUBLISHED

California Rules of Court, rule 8.1115(a), prohibits courts and parties from citing or relying on opinions not certified for publication or ordered published, except as specified by rule 8.1115(b). This opinion has not been certified for publication or ordered published for purposes of rule 8.1115.

Appellant Gwendolyn R. Nance (wife) appeals from a final judgment of dissolution of her marriage to husband Larry B. Nance (husband), now deceased. Wife contends the trial court exceeded its authority in granting the request of respondent Delara Nance, husband's daughter from another relationship (daughter), to enter a final judgment of dissolution and to issue the judgment nunc pro tunc. We agree and shall reverse the judgment.

FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

Wife's marriage to husband produced one child, Larry Nance II, now an adult (son). In 1982, wife filed a petition to dissolve her marriage to husband. An interlocutory judgment of dissolution was filed on October 5, 1982.

In April 1983, husband, represented by counsel, filed a motion to set aside the interlocutory judgment. In support of his motion, husband filed a declaration wherein he acknowledged that he still needed to obtain a final judgment of dissolution.

On September 21, 1984, a stipulated interlocutory judgment was entered. Litigation between husband and wife continued through 1985. During that time, both husband and wife were represented by counsel. Litigation between the parties ceased after 1985.

During the next 23 years, husband and wife maintained a close relationship. They spoke on the phone and met often for lunch and dinner. Wife told husband whenever she left town on a military assignment and would always call husband if she was not returning home as planned. Wife gave husband paperwork for his Military Identification Card, to which he was entitled as a military spouse. Wife and husband never stopped loving each other.

Nearly 25 years after the interlocutory decree of judgment was filed, husband died intestate. Son was appointed by the probate court to be the administrator of husband's estate.

On April 19, 2010, daughter moved the court for a final judgment dissolving husband and wife's marriage to be entered nunc pro tunc. The matter went to trial in August 2010.

At trial, wife testified about the amicable nature of her relationship with husband after the interlocutory decree of judgment was entered. Wife knew she and husband were not divorced; she understood they never ...


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